8 NFL Players Most Likely to Be the Butt of Jokes in 2012
The National Football League as a whole is a stuffy organization. Guys get fined for not having socks the correct length. One advantage to being a fan is that you can have some fun at the expense of players who can't control themselves off the field.
There is a fair share of players who will earn plenty of ridicule for their play on the field. It's too bad that JaMarcus Russell is out of the league or he would be an easy add to this list.
"Yo soy fiesta." Does anything more need be said? Gronkowski became an NFL comedy legend during an interview with ESPN Deportes after the Patriots clinched a Super Bowl berth by beating the Baltimore Ravens.
Gronkowski is a character. He acts, frankly, like most of us would act if we were in our mid-20s and just earned an eight-figure contract extension to play football. Gronk likes to wear Zubaz pants although he seems to have a thing against wearing a shirt in public. He speaks his mind and we are better off for it.
Deadspin may have a writer following Gronkowski full-time considering how often he's on the site. Here's an image with the Zubaz and minus the shirt.
Gronkowski can act like a fraternity member on spring break because he's young and he produces on the field. At this point, it's not a problem and nothing to worry about. Rob Gronkowski is the fiesta that keeps on giving.
Blaine Gabbert left Missouri after his junior year with the expectation that he would be a high draft pick. The Jaguars obliged him by trading up for the 10th overall pick. The franchise made it clear that Gabbert was their long-term answer when they released David Garrard the week of the season opener.
Gabbert didn't start the opener but took over in Week 3. He led the Jaguars to a 4-10 record as a starter. His numbers were typical for a rookie quarterback, but there are major questions about his long-term viability. His pocket presence is terrible. Gabbert played in the shotgun almost exclusively in college and he seemed uncomfortable taking a snap from center. He's going to be under a ton of scrutiny in 2012.
Oh yeah, his hair is fantastic. While the Jaguars drafted Justin Blackmon and signed Laurent Robinson to help Gabbert's development, he has a long way to go before he's considered a passable NFL QB.
Jay Cutler is a leader for the Bears, and when the offensive line can give him a few seconds, he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
He also wouldn't be considered one of the most jovial players in the league.
Cutler famously told off offensive coordinator Mike Martz in the middle of a game last year. He's not afraid to speak his mind.
Cutler's not helping his status in his romantic life. He is engaged to reality TV star Kristin Cavallari, and the pair is the ultimate odd couple. They're going to have their first baby soon and nobody expects it to end well.
Sometimes when a man appears to have it all, he's left open to ridicule. Tom Brady has the Super Bowl wins, the MVP awards, the giant contract and the supermodel wife.
Boston fans will always love Brady. They're also distrustful of players who don't fully embrace the city. Brady spends a lot of his offseason in his home state of California. He's always appearing on a red carpet, which isn't very blue collar.
When a player like Chris Johnson holds out, he finds that he has spare time and decides "why not release a rap single?" The result was "Act on Deck," which features the sampling of a busy signal. Thankfully it's only two minutes long and doubly thankfully, the Titans and Johnson agreed to a contract extension.
It's great for players to be confident, and Chris Johnson doesn't lack for confidence, at least in his statements. He recently compared himself to LeBron James. For the last two years, Johnson has been the third best running back in the AFC South.
Boasting is fine, but after his 2011 performance, fans would prefer to see the man known as CJ2K training instead of talking.
The only reason fans want more Ochocinco in the NFL is so they can make fun of him. Ochocinco was the original "yo soy fiesta" as he made a mangled Spanish interpretation of his jersey number 85 into his legal last name. Step it up, Gronk.
Tom Brady threw for the second most passing yards in NFL history last season. Ochocinco had 15 catches and could not learn the playbook, leading to his release.
The Dolphins picked him up, and many suspect it was to help give the team a character for their upcoming Hard Knocks run. It's not for his ability as a receiver. The NFL needs more players who don't take themselves so seriously. When the act becomes bigger than the on-field performance, that's a problem.
If you're going to make fun of James Harrison, just make sure he's not nearby when doing it. Harrison is one of the ultimate "play angry" players in the league. He's not too worried about whether he's doing it legally.
Harrison let it all hang out last year in an interview with Men's Journal. His rants on Roger Goodell made sense since Goodell fined Harrison for more than $100,000 in the 2010 season. It was when Harrison started going after Steeler offensive players like Rashard Mendenhall and Ben Roethlisberger for Super Bowl turnovers that he crossed the line.
If a player's going to go after a teammate, it's probably not a good idea to do so in a national magazine article instead of in the locker room. Harrison's nearing the end of his career and his mouth is doing him no favors.
Alex Smith deserved to be proud of his accomplishments in 2011. In the epic Divisional Playoff win over the Saints, he led the team to two touchdowns in the final five minutes for the victory.
Smith's career stats are not eye-popping. In seven seasons he has 68 career touchdown passes. In the past two years, Drew Brees has 79 touchdown passes. Smith is not a star, and on last year's 49er team that won with defense and the run game, Alex didn't have to make a ton of plays by himself.
Alex Smith went off on Cam Newton in an interview this May, saying in essence that stats don't mean anything if the team isn't winning. That's a true statement. Smith wasn't saying that he's a better QB than Cam Newton because his team went 13-3 and Cam's team went 6-10, but that was the implication.
The 49ers brought in Josh Johnson this year and drafted Colin Kaepernick last year to challenge Smith. He's started 16 games only twice in his career, so Smith better ride that defense, run game and special teams to wins or else he might be on the bench.